“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them . . . Life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” Gabriel García Márquez
Who am I?
I’m a freelance writer, photographer, explorer and philosopher who loves life. I’m enamored with studying human relationships, psychology, history, philosophy, anthropology and art.
I treasure my relationships and meet with loved ones as much as I can. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I surround myself with books, music, art, movies and good food. I enjoy exploring life and run around snapping photos of the beautiful things I see around me. I try to see the good in every day and every person and encourage others to do the same. I love to laugh, dance, make love, hug, and sing (even though I can’t carry a tune). I eat healthily 80% of the time, avoiding overly processed foods, soda and sugar, and I’ve been a pescetarian since February 2011. I think of life as an adventure and I’m drawn to others who see life the same way.
An undeniable truth:
Where I live, drinking is a large part of our national culture. It’s everywhere and all around us: Drinks after work, glasses of wine during lunch or dinner business meetings or on dates. Alcohol is served at book readings and art exhibition openings, at baby showers, children’s birthday parties, engagement parties, weddings and yes, even at funerals. It’s understood as a way to relax after a rough day at work or to enjoy while cooking dinner. We drink the day before a holiday and on the holiday. It’s all around. ALL THE TIME. Most people seem to not be affected by this. I know, and have known for some time that I’m not one of those people. My body reacts differently to alcohol and I did not know the tools to cope with it. I made a lot of mistakes during two decades of drinking. On February 3rd 2014 I gave up drinking. And I feel good about this decision. It is about time I did something for me.
The Truth about my drinking:
I never woke up craving alcohol. I never drank every day. I drank as frequently as several days per week and as infrequently as once per month. Usually when I hung out with friends: after work at our regular watering holes, at clubs, at parties, at barbecues, at exhibitions, family events. Sometimes I would have one or two drinks and other times I’d have several. Sometimes I’d have only wine or I would consume different types of alcohol if I felt like it. Usually I’d go home tipsy, or a little more than tipsy. I’d say that once a month I’d drive home drunk enough to not remember driving home. Once every few months I’d binge drink and not remember hours of the night before. Every year or so I’d have a major episode where I would become a holy terror: Lashing out at friends, crying, screaming, rebelling, embarrassing loved ones and making a grand nuisance of myself. It is a wonder that so many people still love me.
Why did I quit drinking?
Deciding to give up drinking was an emotional, mental and physical struggle I remember very well. For years I suspected I had a problem and was terrified to admit it. I was afraid that it would mean that I was broken and a mess, which (in my ways of thinking back then) would mean that I was unworthy and unlovable. I was afraid that I would have to give up my keys to The Little World of Block-It-All-Out and be left with no way to escape all those issues I was running from. I wasn’t ready to spend time with real me because I felt that I was ugly and shameful.
Knowing I had a problem with limits and believing it was a question of willpower, I had tried quitting or at least curbing my drinking many times. Especially after particularly embarrassing episodes or near misses. I tried “not drinking during the week” or limiting my consumption, you know, with the “three drinks minimum”. I changed what I drank and who I hung out with. I “had it under control.” But the truth was, I didn’t want to give it up, or to be more honest, I didn’t want to be the girl who had to give it up. So no amount of rules or agendas would’ve worked. When I finally got fed up enough with myself and knew I had no choice, I knew that this time, I was quitting for ME. In my heart I believe that this made all the difference in the world.
So why did I choose to blog about this?
Why I feel a need to write here in this space is a bit different. If I possess the empathy, intuition, experience and deductive reasoning, and the means to communicate effectively and with compassion, I believe I have a responsibility to do so. To reach out and help others learn how to use the tools that I have. I’m no expert in any of this and I only ever speak from my heart but I hope my words effect change somehow, for someone. I write to be a part of transformation.
I will remain anonymous for now, until I am at a place when I am comfortable sharing my name. I do welcome you to visit again and share what you will.
Why “Shadow. Ash. Spirit. Flame.”?
Throughout my life I’ve hit the reset button. I’m the Grand Master Planner, always making lists of things I want to do, have to do, should do, have done. I draw up large schedules and post them on my fridge with weekly goals and plans. I’m great at planning and starting, but not so good at the follow through. I crash and burn over and over again. Terribly, horrifyingly, and sometimes dangerously so.
But, I always have and ALWAYS WILL pick myself up again. I’ve learned to fall in love with my shadows and sometimes I find the beauty in my scars. My spirit is alive and strong and I won’t let it be defeated no matter how hard I tumble and how dark life sometimes seems. As it should. Life is made up of dark and light and it is my goal to ignite my own light time and time again and let it burn brightly, so others can know that it is okay to seek their own light too.
Last updated: 4th October 2014